Euclid Dark Universe Mission
Euclid is an ESA mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe. CMR company Prototech is designing and building hardware to the spacecraft on behalf of the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics, University of Oslo and European Space Agency (ESA).
Artistic ill.: ESA/ C. Carreeau.cop.
The mission will investigate the distance-redshift relationship and the evolution of cosmic structures. It achieves this by measuring shapes and redshifts of galaxies and clusters of galaxies out to redshifts ~2, or equivalently to a look-back time of 10 billion years. It will therefore cover the entire period over which dark energy played a significant role in accelerating the expansion. Two scientific instruments are placed in the light path from the telescope: the camera operating at visible wavelengths (named VIS), and the infrared detector, the NISP instrument, where Prototech has made its contributions.
Bjarte G. B. Solheim is project manager at CMR Prototech. Here he tells about the status for his deliveries: “In March we delivered the Structural Thermal Model (STM) of the feet holding the NISP instrument in place on the space telescope. We have also delivered the so-called NI-SSS, a mechanical structure holding the detector electronics on the same instrument. The vibration test campaign was successfully completed the last week of April, and further thermal testing of the instrument will take place this spring. In one year time, in spring 2017, Prototech will deliver the flight versions of the same hardware, i.e. the parts going into space. Prototech was also recently awarded a contract to develop other structural and thermal models for the Euclid spacecraft on behalf of Thales Alenia Space.”